Ramallah: Palestinian leaders have asked prime minister Rami Hamdallah for a "temporary" cabinet reshuffle, officials said Wednesday, as in-fighting between political factions further dampened chances of a unity government.
"During the night, an agreement was reached that Hamdallah enact a reshuffle to his government that will not affect more than five ministries," Ahmed Majdalani, a senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official, told AFP.
"It`s a temporary reshuffle," he added, saying the line-up would remain "whilst negotiations are ongoing between all parties, including Hamas, to form a national unity government."
An aide to president Mahmud Abbas said last month that Hamdallah had presented his resignation, but other officials denied it, as rumours swirled over the disbanding of an ineffectual cabinet that has had more than a year in office.
Officials say the move has been under discussion for several months because of the cabinet`s inability to operate in Hamas-dominated Gaza.
In April 2014, Abbas`s Fatah party, which dominates the PLO and by extension the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, signed a unity deal with Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
The deal was meant to end a years-long split, and the two sides approved a government of independent technocrats to take over administration of Gaza and the West Bank.
But disputes over the payment of Hamas-appointed employees in Gaza, and control of the territory, mean Hamas remains in control of the strip.
A brutal war in July-August 2014 between Israel and Hamas also set back any efforts at reconciliation.
After reports of Hamdallah`s resignation several weeks ago, Hamas warned it would not accept any "one-sided change in the government without the agreement of all parties."